Explore Prospective Hikes - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Beautiful scenery at every turn, and very, very crowded. I would rate this hike as Easy-Moderate. Half the trail is literally paved and the second half is well maintained stair steps. Our 5 year old tackled this with no problems.

so beautiful at the top. highly highly recommend. get there as early as possible for parking.

Great hike with lots of good stopping points! Mostly shaded which I can appreciate! Dogs were all on leash which was impressive. The view from the top was amazing & the stairs were not bad at all!! Coming from a 6 month pregnant lady!!

took our young children and really enjoyed it! challenging but doable for them. plenty of shade and places to stop. breathtaking scenery.

walking
1 day ago

Like everyone else has said it looks very underwhelming at first but once you get to the formations it's definitely a cool place to see. The park is small and it's more walking then hiking. Nice place to stop for a couple hours.

Definitely gets full of traffic early, and make sure everyone uses the restroom before you park; the restrooms at the entrance are the most disgusting things I’ve ever walked in and then immediately out of.

Beautiful views along the entire walk!

Great route not to be missed if visiting area. Stay hydrated, especially if not used to altitudes.

This is my favorite spot. Hiking up to the top is work but once you get there the view from the lookout tower is amazing and worth it. If you are not use to the altitude make sure to take many stops and bring lots of water. You will never regret doing this hike.

Up and down

Gorgeous! Hike is moderate with trails easily marked. We saw many elk along the way. We took the shuttle from town because we arrived later in the day and couldn’t park at Big Bear of transfer station...they were full. It was a very pleasant drive up to the hike...and we could both admire the scenery!

This trail felt like walking through a fairy tail. Just too perfect. We arrived at 4:30, after the crowds were leaving; but the trail was still swamped with people. Completely worth the crowds. Just magical.

hiking
2 days ago

Couldn't have asked for a better hike today. The weather was beautiful, we had to park at the Brainard Lake Lot after getting there at 9am. It wasn't nearly as crowded as I had expected
Everyone we did come across was super nice and very quiet. If someone can tell me of a place that is this easy of a hike and even more beautiful please let me know. I'm not sure there is a place.

Really cool trail! Especially if you’re looking for a hike that isn’t going to take all day. The fire tower was amazing, the views were insane! My boyfriend discovered that he was terrified of heights but definitely worth the climb! Haha.

Vraiment beau paysage !!

hiking
5 days ago

Beautiful trail. Definitely arrive by 7:30 am to avoid heavy traffic. If you are not an early riser and always lucky, arrive around 10 am to take the early birds' spots.

hiking
5 days ago

Loved this hike. Did it on a Saturday afternoon. On the portion of the trail along the creek, I came across 4 or 5 groups camping by the river. Once the trail left the creek side and started heading uphill, I didn’t see another person on the way up or down.

The trail is physically challenging for a relatively short hike, and in places the trail is slippery due to a bit of gravel on hardpack in steep sections. Even though the trail is in an area with a lot of burned terrain, the trail itself is probably 90% in the shade, so not a bad option for a hot day.

Finding the arch is slightly tricky. They key is knowing that you have to go over the summit and down the dome a few hundred yards.

Follow the cairns once you leave the creek side trail and you should be fine.

on Lake Isabelle Trail

hiking
5 days ago

Beautiful BUT: The Lake is now drained. There's only little water left. no more waterfall, and compared to a month ago most of the wildflowers are now gone.
Still a nice walk/hike, would suggest going later in the day as it gets crowded in the morning.

A perfect hike for a time period of about 2 hours! Amazing views at the top! Have hiked this trail multiple times and it never disappoints!

Beautiful scenery but there are better ones than this lake.

Quick and fun. Did it with my nephews - both 7 years old. They enjoyed the Tower and talking with the Ranger at the top. The views are fantastic.

hiking
6 days ago

It's worth the uphill grade to see Emerald Lake. Very pretty and attainable.

Great little hike. Got there at 830 ish and had to park further away.

Beautiful stream and gorgeous lake

Did this hike with wife and kids (2 and 5), had hiking child carriers.

This hike without other factors should be a 5. Three great hikes in a short hike. But the amount of people on this trail just ruins it. Started at 830 and already way too late.

Once you get the lakes don't find a place to sit down immediately as other do. Explore around the lake to find some solitude.

Really want to do this hike again but starting at 530 am.

Did this hike with wife and kids (2 and 5). Had hiking carrier for them but they also took turns hiking.

I’m honestly hesitant to give this a review because of how good it is. This is a hidden gem (from tourism) and perfect alternative to the emerald lake, dream lake, lily lake, etc. It’s also not only easy, but a great duration. I suggest an evening hike for the sunset at Lake Isabelle, absolutely incredible. Check weather though for any afternoon hikes, always.

hiking
7 days ago

Beautiful hike despite all the people.

hiking
8 days ago

Four lakes along the trail. There are all beautiful. My favorite is the dream lake. I went there in summer and it's so cool. Imagine How I was happy as I went there from south Arizona!

hiking
8 days ago

Easy trail. Beautiful view of lake

hiking
8 days ago

This trail was gorgeous but we went on a Wednesday and it was extremely busy. It was a pretty easy trail for an amazing view.

Ok for kids? Have twin 9 y/o’s not in climbing shape yet from move

Gorgeous scenery. Went in early August and it was like something out of a fairytale. Great hike for all ages! If you’re up for a beautiful 9+ miles I recommend parking at Bierstadt trailhead and taking the shuttle up to Emerald Lake trail, hike to Emerald Lake and back, then take the trail to Bear Lake, hike from Bear to Bierstadt, then return to your vehicle. Amazing journey! Enjoy!!

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